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“ The fields are fragrant, and the woods are green: “ Uncouple here, and let us make a bay, “ And wake the emperor and his lovely bride, “ And rouse the prince; and ring a hunter's peal, “That all the court may echo with the noise. “ Sons, let it be your charge, as it is ours, “ To tend the emperor's person carefully :
I have been troubled in my sleep this night, “ But dawning day new comfort hath inspir'd. Horns wind a Peal. Enter SATURNINUS, TAMORA,
BASSIANUS, LAVINIA, Chiron, DEMETRIUS, and
Tır. Many good morrows to your majesty ;
Sat. And you have rung it lustily, my lords,
Bas. Lavinia, how say you ?
it stuck upon
him as the sun “ In the grey vault of heaven.” Again, in Romeo and Juliet:
“ The grey-ey'd morn smiles on the frowning night-" Again, ibidem:
" I'll say yon grey is not the morning's eye." Again, more appositely, in Venus and Adonis, which decisively supports the reading of the old copy: “Mine eyes are grey and bright, and quick in turning."
MALONE. A lady's eye of any colour may be bright; but still grey cannot mean aerial blue, nor a grey morning a bright one. Mr. Malone says grey is blue. Is a grey coat then a blue one?
STEEVENS. Surely Warburton's note is fully explanatory of the text, if it required explanation. There is a common proverbial saying
“ An evening red, and a morning grey,
“ Are the signs of a fine coming day.' It is singular that either Mr. Malone Mr. Steevens, who were both early risers, should have thought this expression demanded a note. Boswell.
I have been broad awake two hours and more.
Sat. Come on then, horse and chariots let us have, And to our sport:~Madam, now shall ye see Our Roman hunting.
[To TAMORA. Mar.
I have dogs, my lord, Will rouse the proudest panther in the chase, And climb the highest promontory top. Tit. And I have horse will follow where the
game Makes way, and run like swallows o'er the plain. Dem. Chiron, we hunt not, we, with horse nor
hound, But hope to pluck a dainty doe to ground.
A desert Part of the Forest.
Enter Aaron, with a Bag of Gold. “ AAR. He, that had wit, would think that I had
none, “ To bury so much gold under a tree, “ And never after to inherit it . “ Let him, that thinks of me so abjectly, “ Know, that this gold must coin a stratagem; “Which, cunningly effected, will beget “ A very excellent piece of villainy: “ And so repose, sweet gold, for their unrest”,
[Hides the Gold. “ That have their alms out of the empress' chest ®.
to INHERIT it.] To inherit formerly signified to possess. See vol. xv. p. 146, n. 7. MALONE.
7 — for their UNREST,] Unrest, for disquiet, is a word frequently used by the old writers. So, in The Spanish Tragedy, 1603:
"Thus therefore will I rest me in unrest."
Enter TAMORA. “ ?am. My lovely Aaron, wherefore look'st thou
sado “ When every thing doth make a gleeful boast ?
Again, in Eliosto Libidinoso, an ancient novel, by John Hinde, 1606:
“For the ease of whose unrest,
“ Thus his furie was exprest." Again, in Chapman's translation of the ninth Iliad: “ Both goddesses let fall their chins upon their ivorie breasts, “ Sat next to Jove, contriving still afflicted Troy's unrests."
Again, in an excellent Pastoral Dittie, by Shep. Tonie; published in England's Helicon, 4600 : " With lute in hand did paint out her unrest."
STEEVENS. 8 That have their alms, &c.] This is obscure. It seems to mean only, that they who are to come at this gold of the empress are to suffer by it. Johnson.
9 My lovely Aaron, wherefore look'st thou sad,] In the course of the following notes several examples of the savage genius of Ravenscroft, who altered this play in the reign of King James II. are set down for the entertainment of the reader. The following is a specimen of his descriptive talents. Instead of this line with which this speech of Tamora begins, she is made to say:
“ The emperor, with wine and luxury o'ercome,
“My lovely Aaron, wherefore," &c. An emperor who has had too large a dose of love and wine, and in consequence of satiety in both, falls asleep on a bed which partakes of the nature of a sailor's hammock, and a child's cradle, is a curiosity which only Ravenscroft could have ventured to describe on the stage. I hope I may be excused for transplanting a few of his flowers into the barren desart of our comments on this tragedy. STEEVENS.
My lovely Aaron, &c.” There is much poetical beauty in this speech of Tamora. It
to me to be the only one in the play that is in the style of Shakspeare. M. Mason.
“ The birds chaunt melody on every bush ; “The snake lies rolled in the cheerful sun; “ The green leaves quiver with the cooling wind, “ And make a checquer'd shadow on the ground: “ Under their sweet shade, Aaron, let us sit, “ And—whilst the babbling echo mocks the hounds,
Replying shrilly to the well-tun'd horns, “ As if a double hunt were heard at once “ Let us sit down, and mark their yelling noise : “ And-after conflict, such as was suppos’d “ The wandering prince of Dido once enjoy'd, “ When with a happy storm they were surpriz’d, “ And curtain'd with a counsel-keeping cave, “ We may, each wreathed in the other's arms, “ Our pastimes done, possess a golden slumber; “ Whiles hounds, and horns, and sweet melodious
birds, “ Be unto us, as is a nurse's song “ Of lullaby, to bring her babe asleep.
a CHECQUER'd shadow -] Milton has the same expres
many a maid
“Dancing in the checquer'd shade." The same epithet occurs again in Locrine. STEEVENS.
2 As if a double hunt were heard at once,] Hence, perhaps, a line in a well known song by Dryden : "And echo turns hunter, and doubles the cry.”
STEEVENS. as is a nurse's song Of LULLABY, to bring her babe asleep.] Dr. Johnson, in his Dictionary, says, “it is observable that the nurses call sleep by, by; lullaby is therefore lull to sleep.". But to lull originally signified to sleep. 'To compose to sleep by a pleasing sound' is a secondary sense retained after its primitive import became obsolete. The verbs to loll and lollop evidently spring from the same root. And by meant house; go to by is go to house or cradle. The common compliment at parting, good by is good house, may your house prosper ; and Selby, the Archbishop of York's palace, is great house. So that lullaby implies literally sleep in house, i. e. the cradle. Holt White.
“ AAR. Madam, though Venus govern your
desires, “ Saturn is dominator over mine + : “ What signifies my deadly-standing eye, “My silence, and my cloudy melancholy ?
My fleece of woolly hair that now uncurls, “Even as an adder, when she doth unroll “ To do some fatal execution ? “ No, madam, these are no venereal signs;
Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand, “ Blood and revenge are hammering in my head. “ Hark, Tamora,—the empress of my soul, “Which never hopes more heaven than rests in
thee, “ This is the day of doom for Bassianus; “ His Philomel must lose her tongue to-day:
Thy sons make pillage of her chastity, “ And wash their hands in Bassianus' blood. “ Seest thou this letter ? take it up I pray thee, “ And give the king this fatal-plotted scroll :“ Now question me no more, we are espied ; “ Here comes a parcel of our hopeful booty, “ Which dreads not yet their lives' destruction. “ TAM. Ah, my sweet Moor, sweeter to me than
4 - though Venus govern your desires,
SATURN is dominator over mine :) The meaning of this sage may be illustrated by the astronomical description of Saturn, which Venus gives in Greene's Planetomachia, 1585 : “ The star of Saturn is especially cooling, and somewhat drie,” &c. Again, in The Sea Voyage, by Beaumont and Fletcher :
for your aspect
“ It may prove fatal.” Collins. Thus also, Propertius, I. iv. i. 84 :
grave Saturni sydus in omne caput. STEEVENS.